Photo: Julia Nagy, Omaha World-Herald
Black Friday is all about big box retailers and Cyber Monday is for e-commerce stores. Small Business Saturday, however, encourages holiday shoppers to support small brick-and-mortar businesses in their community. Nationwide, Black owned businesses were on full display, even if most don’t have a physical location, just yet. In cities across the country, Black people came together and organized their own Small Business Saturday events and the results were quite impressive.
The inaugural Black Business Crawl was held in Detroit on Saturday. The event was held at Good Cakes and Bakes on Livernois, where founder April Anderson has opened her storefront to host local online and pop-up vendors on Small Business Saturday for the past six years. This year’s event was hosted by Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion, and Opportunity Department and the Detroit Branch of the NAACP.
In Chicago a single, powerhouse of a woman named Nancy Ellis organized a Buy Black Saturday event. The event brought together 153 Black owned businesses under one roof — a multiplex owned by a Black doctor. In May, Ellis founded a corporation to create networking opportunities for Black entrepreneurs. The event on Saturday was her second, following a similar event this past summer. 95.1, a Black owned radio station in Chicago, was also present at the event.
In Atlanta The Village Market hosted an event that celebrated over 100 Black owned businesses. The event was electric and was even graced by former gubernatorial candidate, Stacy Abrams. Abrams gave the opening speech of the event, saying in her remarks, “We live in a state where we’re given the title of being #1 for business, but I don’t just want to be #1 for business, I want to be #1 for people, #1 for families, #1 for neighborhoods.”
There were a number of other events from cities across the country over the weekend. The spirit, however, was the same — Black people came together to spend with each other and build each other up. It didn’t matter that many of the businesses don’t have a storefront — Black people collectively came together as one big storefront. This was just one day but it proves the point that the possibility is there to radically change economics in Black communities, across this nation. A thousand mile journey begins with one step.